The most important question of the century just might be: how to get rid of German roaches.
Or at least it seems that way to anyone infested with roaches. Because the chances are, if you’ve got a roach problem – they’re probably the German variety.
German cockroaches are the real success story of the cockroach world. They are the most widespread of all the cockroach species, and the type most commonly found in human homes and businesses.
That makes them public enemy number one. It also means that if you see cockroaches in your home, the chances are good that it’s the German type you’re dealing with.
Part of the reason German cockroaches are so successful is because of their extremely high reproductive rate.
Warning: this article is about to get a little bit gross. Because to get rid of German cockroaches and their eggs, you need to know more about this disgusting species.
German Cockroach Facts
We know, we know. You could care less about learning more about this hideous creature infesting your home. But a little bit of knowledge goes a long way toward forming the perfect battle plan to destroy this common enemy.
So here are a few German cockroach facts you should take note of…
What do German roaches eat?
Like many other cockroach species, German cockroaches will eat almost anything that is currently or was once alive. They will eat anything humans will eat, and many things that we won’t.
They will eat pet food, animal waste, each other, other insects –in short, about the only thing cockroaches won’t eat is inorganic materials such as plastic or metal.
How long can German roaches survive without food?
A German cockroach can survive for around a month without eating, but they can only survive for approximately a week without water.
For this reason, German cockroaches are most commonly found in areas of high humidity. Inside the home, this usually means kitchens and bathrooms.
Also for this reason, liquid bait traps work exceptionally well to destroy German roach populations.
Where do German cockroaches live?
Although not truly social, cockroaches like to hang out together in what’s known as aggregations.
Cockroaches are averse to light, and so these aggregations will usually be in small cracks and crevices whether cockroaches feel hidden. Behind kitchen appliances and inside cabinets are the most common places to find these aggregations.
How do German roaches reproduce?
Here’s a breathtaking and deeply disturbing fact: A single German cockroach can have over 4000 offspring in her life. The mother German cockroach lays these eggs inside protective egg cases, which can contain as many as 50 eggs at one time.
Unlike some other species, German cockroaches carry their egg sacs with them until approximately 24 hours before the eggs are ready to hatch. In this way, the mother can protect her eggs from predators. In this case, that means you.
How quickly do German roaches develop?
Newly hatched cockroaches can grow to full adulthood in as little as six weeks. At which point, they begin laying eggs of their own.
They really do grow up so fast.
Because of this extremely high reproductive rate, any healthy cockroach population will be around 70% juveniles at any given time. This is why it’s so very crucial to prevent roach pregnancies.
So crucial, in fact, that we need to deep dive a little further on this topic…
German Cockroach Eggs are Key
The adults are generally the most visible members of a cockroach population, but they only make up a small proportion of the total. You could kill every adult cockroach in your home, and still have a severe problem on your hands, because of all the juveniles left behind.
And even if you kill the juveniles too, you still have German cockroach eggs to worry about. Killing every hatched cockroach will only buy you a short amount of time before new cockroaches begin to emerge from the many, many eggs hidden in your home. It’s not a pleasant thought.
For this reason, it’s important to find a way to kill German cockroach eggs as well as the adults. But protected by the leathery egg case that holds them, cockroach eggs can be resistant to many pesticides.
The problem is exacerbated when you consider this: spraying for cockroaches is generally a bad idea. These insects are highly mobile, and any pesticide spray will cause them to run and find new areas of the home to colonize. It can easily make the problem worse.
And this is even more true if you live in an apartment or townhouse, where cockroaches can easily scatter to the surrounding units.
The best way to get rid of cockroaches, besides cleaning your home thoroughly, is to use a poison bait. This relies on the cockroaches finding and eating the bait. Eggs can’t do that. So baits can only kill cockroaches once they’ve hatched.
Fortunately, some products can get rid of German cockroach eggs as well as the adults…
How to Get Rid of German Roaches
We know – you’re itching to annihilate the German cockroach infestation that are living rent free in your home. But to really get rid of German roaches, there are a couple of important steps that are wise to do first.
The number one factor that determines whether you have cockroaches in your home is whether there’s anything for them to eat. So the first step in getting rid of them is to clean like you’ve never cleaned before.
Seal up all food in hard plastic or glass containers that cockroaches can’t chew their way into, and wipe up any and all food or drink spills. Limiting their food source will limit the size a cockroach population can grow to.
Keep in mind that roaches can and will eat almost anything – even those month old leftover crumbs hiding underneath your couch or those little food scraps that rolled under your fridge.
This is why it’s crucial that you try to clean as thoroughly as possible. A vacuum is a must – and don’t forget attachments, like a flat vacuum extender that will help you reach in every nook and cranny.
Remove water sources
Remember how roaches absolutely need water to survive? This would be a good time to fix that dripping tap or leaky pipe. Cockroaches often get their water from the outside of water pipes, where condensation forms.
But don’t forget about the drip tray behind your refrigerator and the water that condenses there. This is probably the most common place to find German cockroaches in the home.
Seal up gaps and cracks
Cockroaches like to stay hidden. They especially love warm, moist areas that are close to a food source. As well as behind kitchen appliances, gaps in walls around water pipes and crevices within kitchen cabinets are popular places for cockroaches to hide.
Grab yourself some silicone caulk and start sealing up any gaps and cracks you find. Not only will this reduce the places cockroaches have to hide and lay their eggs, but it can also prevent more cockroaches from coming in from adjoining units.
Track them down
Before you start launching your masterplan to kill German cockroaches, you need to know where they are. Using a flashlight, inspect your home, focusing especially on kitchens and bathrooms.
Check underneath sinks and behind kitchen appliances. If cockroaches are present, you’ll see them. It might be a good idea to have a vacuum cleaner handy suck up any cockroaches that try to make a run for it.
Another excellent and much more passive way to monitor the German cockroach population in your home is to use a trap – our favorite is the Black Flag Roach Motel.
While these sticky traps are great for catching cockroaches, the main purpose is not to solve a problem by themselves. Instead, they are useful for letting you know where the cockroaches are.
Set up traps throughout the home, and monitor them for a week or so to see which ones catch the most cockroaches. This will let you know the areas you need to focus your treatment on.
How to Kill German Roaches
Now that your home is secure against new roaches entering and you know exactly which parts of your home these filthy pests like to congregate in, it’s time for the fun part.
Yup, we’re talking about getting the best German roach killer and beginning the massacre. Here’s what to pick up!
Cockroach Killing Bait
As mentioned earlier, insecticide sprays can actually make a cockroach problem worse. Instead, a better method is to use one of the best roach killing baits. These products are designed to be attractive to cockroaches so that the roaches will eat them.
They contain poison that will slowly kill any cockroach that has consumed the bait. The bait is designed to be slow acting so that the cockroaches don’t realize what you’re up to.
This sneaky approach is wonderful because it allows the poison to spread through the cockroach population.
Here’s how it goes: Juvenile cockroaches have an upsetting habit of eating the droppings of adults. They will also eat the dead bodies of any adults that do succumb to the poison.
In this way, the poison will spread throughout the cockroach population. It may not be quick, but it’s undoubtedly effective. And it will be even more effective if you remove any other food source by cleaning your home thoroughly so the only food sources available are the poisonous ones.
Which German Roach Killer Bait is Best?
Cockroach baits come in many forms and we suggest you choose and use at least two different types. Gel baits such as Advion Cockroach Gel Bait can be applied anywhere the cockroaches may be hiding. This is great for making sure that the cockroaches find and consume the bait.
Thanks to the syringe applicator, you can get little dabs of the poisonous bait in the tightest little places that roaches love to hide in – corners, cracks, and anywhere else you’ve seen the hideous pests roaming around.
Another equally effective and easy to use German roach killer is the Hot Shot Liquid Roach Bait. Instead of a gel, this is a bait station that contains the bait inside a small plastic container, so all you need to do is set the bait stations down wherever you find cockroach activity and let the bait do the rest.
Not only are these ridiculously easy to use, they’re also highly effective thanks to the fact that they combine both a food and a water attractant to lure roaches. Remember how roaches can survive long periods without food but not without water?
Once you remove access to other water sources around your home, the thirsty roaches will welcome the poisonous bait you provide. Laughs maniacally.
The only downside of these bait stations is that they tend to be more expensive and less flexible in terms of where they can be placed. Which is why, if you want to get serious about your cockroach problem, it’s best to use both gel and bait stations.
Cockroach Population Control
Remember earlier, how we said you must get rid of German cockroach eggs as well as the adults? Well, these handy little products called insect growth regulators, or IGRs, do just that.
IGRs work by interfering with the hormones that regulate cockroach growth and development. Products such as Gentrol are designed to be spread in areas where cockroaches are hiding, without causing them to scatter.
But the growth regulator will prevent any juvenile cockroaches from reaching adulthood and reproducing. You’ll know it’s working when you start to see roaches with misshapen wings stumbling around the place – these cockroaches have been effectively sterilized.
In time, none of the roaches in your home will be able to produce eggs and as we all know, there is no (roach) future without (roach) children.
With the assurance that there are no more cockroach eggs being hatched, you can focus all your attention on killing the adults with bait. Hurrah to that.
German cockroaches are one of the most common and most troublesome pest species in human homes. But there’s no need to surrender to cockroach infestation. Now that you’ve got this guide in your hands, go forth and destroy them all!